At this point in history, it is hard to believe there are still those who deny the existence of global warming and refuse to acknowledge its effects. The latest findings from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will, hopefully, remove all doubt that a long-term warming trend is happening, and that it is worldwide and that serious consequences—some of which may be irreversible—are already occurring and will continue to occur if solutions are not found.
According to an independent analysis by NOAA and NASA, in 2015 Earth’s surface temperatures were the warmest since 1880 when modern record keeping began. Last year’s global-average temperature exceeded the hottest global average by .23 degrees Fahrenheit. The report further explains that “The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1.0 degree Celsius) since the late-19th century, a change largely driven by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 15 of the 16 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. Last year was the first time the global average temperatures were 1 degree Celsius or more above the 1880-1899 average.”
Data for the study was collected from ship-and-buoy based observations of sea-surface temperatures, from measurements taken at an Antarctic research station and measurements from than 6,300 weather stations placed around the world.
It is not overstating to say that global warming is the challenge of our generation. The recent findings of the NASA- NOAA analyses highlights the importance of continued study of warming trends, their long-term effects on the environment and potential solutions.